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J Cell Mol Med. 2020 Feb 10. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.15043. [Epub ahead of print]

Respiratory chain signalling is essential for adaptive remodelling following cardiac ischaemia.

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Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.
Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany.
Department of Physiology, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany.
Department of Neurology, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg, Germany.
Department Cardiac Development and Remodelling, Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany.
Functional Proteomics, Faculty of Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Department of Immunology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany.
Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.


Cardiac ischaemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury has been attributed to stress signals arising from an impaired mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC), which include redox imbalance, metabolic stalling and excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The alternative oxidase (AOX) is a respiratory enzyme, absent in mammals, that accepts electrons from a reduced quinone pool to reduce oxygen to water, thereby restoring electron flux when impaired and, in the process, blunting ROS production. Hence, AOX represents a natural rescue mechanism from respiratory stress. This study aimed to determine how respiratory restoration through xenotopically expressed AOX affects the re-perfused post-ischaemic mouse heart. As expected, AOX supports ETC function and attenuates the ROS load in post-anoxic heart mitochondria. However, post-ischaemic cardiac remodelling over 3 and 9 weeks was not improved. AOX blunted transcript levels of factors known to be up-regulated upon I/R such as the atrial natriuretic peptide (Anp) whilst expression of pro-fibrotic and pro-apoptotic transcripts were increased. Ex vivo analysis revealed contractile failure at nine but not 3 weeks after ischaemia whilst label-free quantitative proteomics identified an increase in proteins promoting adverse extracellular matrix remodelling. Together, this indicates an essential role for ETC-derived signals during cardiac adaptive remodelling and identified ROS as a possible effector.


adaptive cardiac remodelling; alternative oxidase; cardiac ischaemia-reperfusion; electron transport chain; mouse; reactive oxygen species

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